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Monday, October 02, 2017

Maintaining Your Anonymity In a Digital Age

Written by: Rochelle Moore (Nubian Enterprises)

Since the turn of this century, the terrain of fighting racism has changed drastically. In the 1990’s, we were warned against Y2K, a computer virus designed to attack our computers. Well, the year 2000 came and went and no viruses appeared. Instead, many black professionals and college students have been plagued with the scrutiny and spies
peering into our lives to gather information found in our emails and social websites and sharing it. All those times, you sent an email and it disappeared. You thought you didn’t press enter. On the contrary, someone intercepted it, read it and told others about the communication you drafted.

It’s about twenty years into the new millennium and there are numerous cases of phishing and downloading vital information which will expose our personal lives, our educational experiences and business information to hostile regimes. Some surf the net in search of prey from all over the world. Have you ever been accused of looking like
someone? That’s a red flag. We must be on guard on our social sites as not every surfer or friend request is genuine. At the height of this current administration, Blacks in America were hit hard with the reality of being exposed to violent racism. For instance, from riots to the loss of life under the hands of brutal police attacks can be attributed to the vital information shown to the wrong people.

Facebook is in several nations and there may be unfriendly forces monitoring your post. In Toronto, police watch Facebook religiously and find information on people not living in Canada. What they do with our information may not be friendly.

How do you protect yourself from intruders on the internet?
Whether Facebook, Twitter, Skype, emails or Instagram, your page must be designed to impress and welcome friends and ward off danger. The data you place on sites should represent what you want viewers to think of you. First impressions do last. Some employers screen applicants based on their social post and emails. Therefore, nudity and pornography should be prohibited. Be Aware of what you share. Update the passwords on your sites and add a password to your personal computer. Your Personal computer is just that. It’s exclusively for your use only.

How much biographical data should be placed on social sites?
Studies suggest that internet users, especially Facebook should refrain from placing all of your credentials on it. This site is for family and friends but not business. There is no need to place your professional resume on Facebook. As stated earlier, people in other countries monitor the post and they don’t need to know every fact about you. A bare minimum of data and photos is all it takes. Your profile photo does not have to be a professional photo of you. It can be any image; symbol or picture that depicts how you feel. It’s not necessary to post your photos from parties, dances or reunions.

Hackers have several motives with the top being to sabotage, steal data and spy. When is the last time, you updated your computer or anti-virus software? This may be the time you purchase software to protect your personal computer or get another one. For web browsing add the security-focused version of Firefox.

Data on us can be found in the strangest places. Unbeknownst to many, in some areas of America, people go into garbage bends and go through them. They take papers, documents, old disk and use the information on it. For some, that’s the source of Identity theft. The answer is to invest in a shredder to stop would be thieves from finding your name in dumpsters. The best way to handle old documents and disks is to shred them before you place them in a dumpster. Purchase a shredder for your home and office. Use it often.

Your career or even location of where you live may require you to get a Post Office Box. It’s a good move to have a place to send your mail outside of your physical address. A P.O. Box is good for home and office. Places like Mail Box etc. accepts packages and can be picked up anytime. Finally, purchase with gift cards when shopping. Never leave
your wallet or purse unattended. Thieves are fast.

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